NEWS | November 12, 2017

Dunham Students Win National Essay Contest

The Dunham School is pleased to announce that two Dunham students, sister and brother Katherine and Joshua Harris, have been named national winners in the 2017 Future of Technology Summit Essay Competition. Sixth-grader Katherine (Katie) won first place in the elementary division, and eighth-grader Joshua received honorable mention in the middle
school division. Katie and Joshua Harris are the children of Jennifer and JP Harris. 

The essay competition, administered by Future Technology Summit (FTS), asked current students to reflect on how technology touches their lives and how rapid advancements might change the ways in which they live, learn, work, or connect with others in the future. 

Winning essays were chosen based on creativity, reflection, organization, and clarity. After an initial analysis by artificial intelligence software, a panel of university and corporate technology experts made final selections. Out of 3,000 submissions from students in 800 schools across the United States and Israel, FTS selected one first place winner from each division—elementary (K-6), middle (7-8), and high school (9-12)—in the United States, as well as a middle and high school winner in Israel. Up to four honorable mentions were also awarded in each division.

In her essay titled “Exceeding Humanity,” Katie Harris reflects on the future impact of technology with these words, "Technology is powerful and greatly impacts our future with better defense, faster transportation, better safety, less activity, less communication, and people losing their jobs.  I leave you with this question, has technology really exceeded our humanity?"

Harris’ first place prize includes an upcoming trip to Washington, DC, where she will attend the Future of Technology Summit and have the opportunity to interact with a number of well known future technology experts, including Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak and Tesla Motors co-founder and former CEO Mark Eberhard.  

Stressing the importance of having a student presence at the summit, Shaji Nair, FTS executive director, says, “The purpose of the student essay competition is to have the voice of the next generation represented during the conference, as our young people will live the longest with the decisions and tech advancements we make today.”

Dunham STEM Director Sheri Goings concurs. “Competitions such as these are invaluable experiences for our students.  When students realize that they have a voice in what their future holds, they become the game-changers,” says Goings, who adds, “I am thankful to our amazing teachers at Dunham, who foster creativity, critical thinking, and excellence in their classrooms. Both of our winners are students in Mary Ellen Courville's writing classes.”

The mission of FTS is to spark conversation among today’s leaders on how rapid technological advancements will fundamentally alter the way we work in the next five to 10 years. For more information on FTS or to read Katie Harris’ essay in its entirety, visit https://www.ftsummit.us.